It’s a too-familiar story, but a million-dollar-plus jackpot winner at Golden Nugget is rumored to have left a $200 tip. Face, meet palm.
The player won $1.1 million on the Crazy 4 Poker progressive.
That’s not the rumor part.
Golden Nugget employees and others (who wished to remain anonymous) shared word of the painfully small $200 tip.
Cue the asshats chiming in with, “At least he left them something!”
To which we tend to respond, “Oy,” or something similarly clever.
One source said the player is a Las Vegas local, so they should “know how this works.”
We also hear the player’s wife won $5,000 on the winning hand (known as an “Envy” bet in Crazy 4 Poker) and tipped zero.
How Las Vegas works is many casino employees rely on tips for their livelihoods. Yes, it’s a
fundamentally flawed system, blah, blah, blah, but it’s the system we’ve got.
The subject of tipping, or not, on large jackpots has sparked some lively debates in social media.
We recently shared on Twitter that another winner, at Circa Las Vegas, tipped $200 on a $120,000-plus jackpot.
The responses to the Tweet were, how do we put this diplomatically, wide-ranging.
Many (sadly, most) of the people who responded to our Tweet rationalized the $200 tip, with many saying they’d have tipped nothing.
This inspired a listicle on our podcast, which we’re going to share again for posterity.
Top 10 Excuses for Not Tipping
1. “Employers don’t pay enough.”
2. “Tipping is optional.”
3. “They didn’t tip me when I was losing.”
4. “Tipping is a tool of oppression.”
5. “I have to pay taxes on my winnings.”
6. “These people already make a lot of money.”
7. “They didn’t do very much.”
8. “I didn’t have any cash.”
9. “We don’t tip in my country of origin.”
10. “I’m a clueless bonehead.”
In the defense of the clueless, it’s true large jackpot winners don’t get their winnings in cash. That’s the only excuse that even marginally works here, and it should be noted there’s no time limit on tipping. It’s perfectly acceptable to come back hours or even days later to tip the crew.
We’d love to hear that’s what happened with our $1.1 million winner! We’ll wait.
At this juncture, we usually get the question, “So, what’s the appropriate amount to tip?”
The answer is a trap, of course, as there’s no amount that’s going to satisfy everyone. It’s not a set amount, and while some suggest a percentage of the big win, that’s rather absurd as the gratuity could be outragious.
For example, just a 2% tip on $1.1 million would be $22,000. While casino staff wouldn’t get upset about such a tip, um, no.
While we’re an advocate for generous tipping, we don’t personally tip extravagantly. We aren’t
talking about ridiculous tipping here, we’re advocating reasonable tipping, and that’s highly
What’s a reasonable tip for a $1.1 million jackpot? We’ll put it this way: It’s more than $200.
We also get this question a lot, “Who should I tip?”
Again, it’s up to you, but here’s our answer: Anyone who made your experience better. If it’s a
table game win, the list includes dealers, cocktail servers and the folks who bring your money. With slots, it’s servers and slot attendants.
Don’t feel obligated to stop there, however. Bathroom attendants, valets, security guards and
cage cashiers all contributed to your unforgettable night, feel free to lavish them with cash as you see fit.
And don’t forget about selfless bloggers whose words and poorly-focused photographs keep you connected to Las Vegas between visits. We wouldn’t accept a gratuity, of course, but that shouldn’t prevent you from offering.
Here’s the question that’s the foundation of all this: Why tip?
First, it’s customary. Las Vegas runs on tips, it’s woven into the culture. If you don’t believe in
tipping, or can’t afford to tip appropriately, you need not visit Las Vegas and its casinos. You should also probably avoid leaving your home, as tipping is a thing everywhere in America. Pretty straightforward.
Second, it’s karma. While it may not make logical sense to give away money when it’s “optional,”
tipping isn’t driven by logic, just as visiting a casino isn’t driven by logic. It’s about mojo, and what goes around comes around. Your gratuity is a statement of your appreciation and generosity, an investment in achieving your next big win.
Tipping is simply the right thing to do.
If nothing else, the subject of tipping is a wonderful conversation-starter. How someone views
tipping says a lot about them as a human being.
Here’s a useful analogy: Big tippers are dog people, poor tippers are cat people. (That sound you hear is us ducking.)
The ultimate goal is to be considered a “George,” casino slang for a big tipper.
Better yet, be a Benjamin. Inflation and such.